In June 2008 the city and province of Iloilo was under a state of calamity after a destructive storm, Typhoon Frank (international name: Fengshen) had hit the country. According to Marcos Detourist, aside from Iloilo City, most of Iloilo Provinces of 42 towns were also heavily affected especially the towns crossed by major rivers. Detourist state that around 80+% of the Iloilo City went underwater and the worst hit district was Jaro, where the flood waters reported to have reach a high of 2 meters submerging almost the entire district.
Mariano Griño,now 68, a resident of Gran Plains Subdivision in Jaro experienced the destructive typhoon and was spared; his family had to lend their inflatable rubber boat to rescue trapped residents in neighboring subdivisions but the boat was damaged. He was 61 back then. (Cebu Daily News)
The Regional Community Defense Center where Griño was a reservist, had an inflatable rubber boat years back but were damaged and became unusable after it was punctured. For years, Griño had the idea of building a rescue boat that was indestructible, a rescue boat that could resist collisions and not be broken or crashed easily.
He started constructing the boat in August 2008 at the backyard of his house. The boat’s body is filled with lightweight polystyrene (Styrofoam) insulated in marine epoxy composite. Its body frame is made of plywood and has skid plate made of aluminum serves as a protection from hard and pointed objects in steering over rooftops or fences. In my research the use of Styrofoam as a material in building boats will not sink in water and it is lightweight and can be transportable and it’s cheaper. Measuring 14 feet in length, six feet in width and three feet in height, the boat can accommodate 12 people. The boat includes a trailer for easy transport, equipped with a 40-horse power outboard engine, four paddles, a grappling hook or anchor to maintain stability while picking up victims, and a life jacket to throw easily to victims. The boat was completed a month and half later and was successfully tested at the Jalaur River in Iloilo last September 2008.
“We could save more lives and will respond better if we have the right equipment like unsinkable rescue boats, life jackets and lifebuoys,” Griño told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in a telephone interview last 2012.
Griño said he was planning to sell a unit with trailer and other accessories at P380,000 without engine and at P580,000 with a 40-hp outboard engine. He also said that the indestructible boat would still be cheaper than the inflatable rubber boats that cost P700,000 each.
Antique has the interest to buy several of these boats from Griño and the Iloilo City government is studying the project. He is also planning to build an indestructible rescue raft similar to the boat but cheaper and intended for poorer communities. (thenewstoday.info)
According to Inquirer, Griño has not stopped working on innovations that could help save lives during disasters. He recently designed an indestructible life vest made of Styrofoam and ballistic nylon which costs around P350, cheaper than commercially sold life jackets. He’s latest innovation is a lifebuoy, a ring-shaped life preserver, made of Styrofoam and fiberglass cloth that can accommodate up to four adult persons.
With this new innovation of rescue boats, it can be a new kind of aid to Typhoon victims especially in the Philippines since the country had experienced one of the strongest typhoons in history (which was typhoon Yolanda, international name: Haiyan) back in 2013. Rescue boats are one of the equipment’s used during floods to evacuate victims out of the affected area. With Griño’s new innovation of rescue boats made out of cheap alternative materials that can resist collision and cannot be punctured than the usual inflatable rubber boat, this can help the government because it can be use again and will last a long time and can save us money unlike the inflatable rubber boat that can be easily damaged and we need to supply more because it cannot be used again which is a total waste of money.
By: Harajean Mae D. Hachero